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News and Events 5-21-12: Remembering Flo Green, Education and Obesity, and More

May 21, 2012

Remembering Flo Green

“I first met Flo over 15 yrs ago when she headed the California Association of Nonprofits (CAN), then again when I keynoted the 30th anniversary of the Center for Nonprofit Management; and can attest to her personal energy, commitment and vision to strengthen the field. Her presence, knowledge, and contributions will be sorely missed.”- Kat Rosqueta, Executive Director

A memorial site has been created for those wishing to learn about the life of Flo Green and to pay their respects.

Education Notes from Kate Hovde

Kate Hovde

Kate Hovde, Senior Analyst

‘Chronically Absent’ Students Skew School Data: A NY Times article this week on student attendance illustrates the importance of not only what data you track, but how you track, and even more importantly, what you do with the information. It is a known fact that students with multiple absences are at risk for falling behind academically and dropping out. Systems and mechanism for identifying those students early on and strategies to get them back in school are key, given the high personal and societal cost of dropout.

The ABCs of Beating Obesity: Continuing the cross-sectoral theme from last week, a report last week from the Institute of Medicine points to the role of schools in combatting the dramatic rise in child obesity by helping to ensure children get sufficient exercise and good nutrition. Meanwhile, under the combined pressures of increasing academic test scores and budget cuts, many districts have been cutting back on physical education and recess. Yet these cuts may in fact be counterproductive to academic performance, as growing research connects exercise with better mental performance and concentration (as any kindergarten teacher can probably tell you). In some cases, parents and other donors are stepping in to try to fill the gap.

News from our Models in Practice

Penn to team up with West Philly KIPP Schools: Penn is first Ivy to formally partner with the KIPP network of charter schools to strengthen college attendance and graduation. Our Center first discussed KIPP’s example of how charter schools can change children’s lives in Pathways to Student Success (p.40), and mentioned again as a successful whole-school reform model in our guide on High Impact Philanthropy to Improve Teaching Quality (p.57).

The KIPP model relies on significantly extended structured learning time, explicit expectations of college degree attainment, character education, and contracts among parents, teachers, and principals to do whatever it takes to ensure student success. KIPP schools serve a predominantly low-income, at-risk student population.

The Power of Nursing: David Bornstein’s Fixes column highlights Nurse-Family Partnership, an organization with a home-visitation model that we have continued to highlight in our guidance.

Nonprofits and Philanthropy

Social Media Use Grows at Nonprofits: The  4th Annual Nonprofit Social Network Benchmark Report from NTEN, Common Knowledge and Blackbaud reveals stats social media use among nonprofits. Of the more than 3,500 nonprofits surveyed, some key findings are: 98% use facebook, 72% use twitter, while only 44% use LinkedIn.

Corporate Philanthropy Falls Short: The Council on Foundations has released a report, Increasing impact, Enhancing Value: A Practitioner’s Guide to Leading Corporate Philanthropy. The report suggests five ways that corporate philanthropy can improve its impact.

Nonprofit Finance Fund’s State of the Sector Surveys: The Nonprofit Finance Fund has released its second annual survey, this year with responses from more than 4,500 nonprofits, with support from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation. Some key findings: 85% of nonprofits experienced an increase in the demand for services in 2011 and 88% expect an increase in demand for services in 2012.

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